This program helps youth already diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder to transition into their teenage years and/or a secondary school setting. It is available to youth between the ages of 11 and 17, and who are experiencing mental health difficulties which are impacting their family and school life.
Although treatment varies from case to case, youth and their family receive both individual and family treatment, which may involve counselling, skill development, advocacy, support, and education. The program begins with an assessment, followed by a treatment period which usually consists of bi-weekly sessions, with reassessments taking place every six months. Throughout the process, there is regular contact with both the family and school to facilitate the treatment and transition process. In some cases, other professionals may be accessed, with consent, if multidisciplinary consultation is needed to address more complex medical or psychological issues.
This program is designed to provide youth with a better understanding of their diagnosis, as well as their strengths and needs. It will also assist youth in developing skills to cope with anxiety, social situations, communication, and school demands. All of this contributes to the ultimate goal of supporting youth in the transition into their teenage years and/or secondary school in a positive, meaningful way. Additionally, the program provides the family with the opportunity to develop a better understanding of the youth’s diagnosis, and supports them in learning how to parent more effectively, how to advocate and collaborate with schools and other service providers, and how to support the youth in their academic transition.
For more information, or to make a referral for services, please call the Access Network at 1-855-486-5037, or Children's Centre Thunder Bay at 807-343-5000.